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Munitions Import Control Regulations Clarified in Light of Export Control Reform Changes

Monday, April 22, 2013
By Shawn McCausland
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has issued a final rule that, effective April 22, amends its regulations to clarify restrictions on the importation of defense articles and services in light of upcoming changes associated with the Export Control Reform Initiative.

The DOJ has been delegated authority by the president to control the permanent import of defense articles and defense services. All defense articles and defense services, whether controlled for import or export, are part of the U.S. Munitions List, but those controlled by the DOJ are labeled as the U.S. Munitions Import List to distinguish them from those controlled by the State Department under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations for purposes of export and temporary import. The regulations governing the USMIL describe it as a subset of the USML.

As the result of a comprehensive review of export controls, certain defense articles and services are being moved from the USML to the Commerce Control List administered by the Department of Commerce. Because the USMIL regulations adopt the USML, the DOJ is now clarifying those regulations to do the following.

- remove the language adopting the USML

- clarify that the DOJ exercises delegated authority to designate defense articles and services for inclusion on the USML for purposes of permanent import controls regardless of whether such items are controlled by State for purposes of export or temporary import

- clarify that the defense articles and services regulated for purposes of permanent import appear in the USMIL and that the USMIL is a subset of the USML

The DOJ notes that this rule does not change the content of the USMIL and that any such revisions will be addressed in a separate rulemaking.

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